Cal/OSHA blames both Knott's Berry Farm and Intamin for Xcelerator accident

Posted Wednesday, April 28, 2010 1:23 PM | Contributed by Jeff

A state investigation found that a 2009 roller coaster accident that injured two riders at Knott's Berry Farm could have been prevented with proper maintenance, casting blame on both the theme park and the ride manufacturer.

Read more from The LA Times.

For video of the accident, go to YouTube.

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Thursday, April 29, 2010 1:50 PM
Jason Hammond's avatar

Shades said:
Or is it already open? The date on the article is Monday, April 26. So what do they mean by "this Monday"?

It is my understanding that it opened around 5pm on the 26th.

I was in the area. But, had no desire to ride. They still do not allow eyeware (strapped or otherwise). I've heard various reasons. None of which make sense and are not consistent with other policies. I'm not worried about a cable breaking as much as getting miscellaneous debris or bugs in my eyes. I have returned to stations on several occasions with bugs plastered on my lenses. I can't imagine what that would have felt like or done to me if it hit me in the eye.

I always abide by park's policies. Because of that, I will be one less person makeing that line any longer.

1st time I asked, I was told it was manufacture policy. But, I'm not aware of any other Intamin rockets that have this requirement.

2nd time I asked, I was told it was Cedar Fair policy. But, I'm not aware of any other parks in the chain that don't at least allow glasses with straps.

3rd time I asked I was told it was California. This seems most probable, but I don't think Superman at Magic Mountain (Intamin LSM) requires it. Is it old enough that a policy wasn't in place yet? What ever the reason is, the policy is in place on Pony Express (Zamperla Flywheel) and Montezooma's Revenge (Flywheel) as well. I don't think any of the LIM launches in CA require it. I just rode California Screamin' and Mummy and wore my glasses. I believe I wore my glasses on V2:Vertical Velocity. The Mummy opened in 2004 (after Xcelerator).

If it is California or the manufacture making the policy, they aren't being consistent about who they want to abide by it. In my opinion, it's probably someone at Knotts making this policy. When it was brought up at a Coaster Mania Q&A at Cedar Point, no one there seemed to even be aware that Knotts had this policy in place.

What's crazy is that when they made me take my glasses off on Montezooma's Revenge, he said it was ok If I held the glasses. How is that safer?


854 Coasters, 34 States, 7 Countries
http://www.rollercoasterfreak.com My YouTube

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Thursday, April 29, 2010 2:40 PM

That makes no sense. How is someone with a screen name of "Shades" supposed to ride a coaster without his shades on? I wear my sunglasses no matter what coaster I am on or how dark it is. The wind really bothers my contacts and I 2nd your comment about the bugs splattered on the sunglass lenses. Guess I will just have to ride the old fashioned way - with my eyes closed.

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Thursday, April 29, 2010 2:51 PM
Jason Hammond's avatar

^ I hadn't considered that. :)

I'm sure Rideman is better at searching for this type of information than I am. But, after almost an hour of searching I found this document:

California Code of Regulations: ยง 3195.9. Motion Restriction and Other Specific Hazard Control Measures

I can't seem to find anything as specific as what I mentioned. But, if you read (e) (2) it states that: "All moving parts with which patrons may come into contact shall be sufficiently guarded to protect against injury." I think cable shrapnel should qualify.

So, everyone go out an get your regulation suit of chain mail, face guard and goggles before riding again. ;)

Last edited by Jason Hammond, Thursday, April 29, 2010 2:56 PM

854 Coasters, 34 States, 7 Countries
http://www.rollercoasterfreak.com My YouTube

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Monday, May 3, 2010 4:16 PM
janfrederick's avatar

I really dislike Knott's' eyeglasses policy.


"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza
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Monday, May 3, 2010 10:22 PM
TheMillenniumRider's avatar

Simple solution, the future of launched coasters, eliminate the cables altogether. Have a system like a carrier, where it is a cylinder for the length of the launch. The piston inside the cylinder is directly connected to the launch trolley.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010 3:04 PM
rollergator's avatar

^^ & ^^^Agreed 10,000,000%. Still can wear my glasses on Monte, thankfully, but the way-less-intense launch on Pony Express....no glasses even WITH straps. And Xcelerator, which has already demonstrated a need for eye protection - no dice again. What is UP, Knotts? No one else in the chain prevents me from riding with secured (prescription) eyewear. No one else in CA, not on any other launched ride...

...maybe if I fall and get hurt in the station BECAUSE my glasses are stored safely in the cubbies? Seriously!

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010 4:10 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

^^ Isn't that what S&S did on Hypersonic and on Dodonpa?


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010 9:23 PM
Fun's avatar

Has there ever been a cable failure on a Schwartzkopf launch coaster that has caused bodily harm? Those things ran with cables for years (some still do), and I can't remember hearing anything negative about them.

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010 10:27 AM

Clutch failures were far more common on the flywheel launch rides than cable issues. Also keep in mind that the launch speed is way slower than the hydraulic powered rides.

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